FAQs

If you don’t find the answer to your question here, or would like more information about my services, please get in touch.

PRICING

Q: How much do you charge per word?

A: I typically charge per hour rather than per word, but we can negotiate a fee per word if you prefer. The cost per word for editing will depend on the quality of the text, as this will determine my editing pace (words per hour). For example, if my editing speed is 1800 words per hour, my fee for editing will be about €0.02 per word (€35 divided by 1800).

Q: I’d like to know upfront how much I’ll pay for editing. Can you tell me the exact number of hours you’ll need to edit my thesis?

A: You’ll know from the beginning the maximum amount you’ll pay, because we’ll limit the number of hours I’ll work on your document, to avoid surprises. So, for example, let’s say we agree that I’ll take up to 8 hours to edit your document. If I take 10 hours to edit it, you’ll pay €280 (8 h × €35/h). If I take 6 hours, you’ll pay €210 (6 h × €35/h). Generally, my estimates are very accurate—given that I edit a few million words per year and always strive for efficiency.

Q: Why can’t you quote a price based simply on the word count? Other websites have online quote estimators.

A: To be able to give you an accurate quote for the job, I first need to see the document that needs editing or proofreading. I cannot commit to editing a document I haven’t seen, because I need to be sure that I’m a good fit for the project. So, it’s in your interest to show me the document before I give you an estimate for editing or proofreading it.

Q: Can I get a discount?

A: My rates for editing and proofreading are already very competitive for the quality I offer; however, I often provide a small discount for postgraduate students, academics from developing countries, and self-publishing authors.

Q: When and how do I pay you?

A: If you’re a new client, you’ll generally pay the full amount upfront (see Terms of Service). To pay me via PayPal, you don’t necessarily need an account, because you can also pay by credit card via PayPal. If you live in the European Union, you can also pay me via bank transfer. If PayPal is not available in your country, please contact me and we’ll find a payment method that works for both of us.

Q: An agency gave me a cheaper estimate for editing my book. Can you match their price?

A: No. I cannot match the price another editor or agency has quoted for your project, because each provider of English editing services has different operating costs. My rates for editing and proofreading are in line with those recommended by the Editorial Freelancers Association, and I think my rates are fair given my skills and experience, and the value I provide. Some clients have even told me that my editing rates are “extremely reasonable” for the quality I offer.

Q: I’m a student and I cannot afford to pay an editor to edit/proofread my dissertation. Would you help me anyway? I’ll recommend you to my friends and write a great review of your services on LinkedIn.

A: No. I don’t provide free editing or proofreading services. However, you can ask your advisors, or your university’s writing centre, if they can provide editorial assistance for completing your dissertation. Also, some of your colleagues, friends, or family may be willing to proofread your dissertation for free.

Q: Your rates for editing are too high. Can’t you just proofread my document instead?

A: If your document has been professionally edited, I can proofread it. If, however, you’re asking if I can apply my proofreading rates to my editing services, the answer is no. My services are priced differently because they entail different things. Please check this table to see the difference between proofreading and editing.

Q: Do you accept payment in other currencies? I can’t make a bank transfer in euros.

A: No. My business is registered in Italy, and my invoices will be in euros. If you don’t have an account in euros, we’ll try to find a payment method that allows currency conversion (such as PayPal).

TURNAROUND TIME

Q: What’s your turnaround time?

A: My turnaround time is generally less than a week for documents up to 20000 words, but it can vary, depending on the complexity of the document and my workload. When I give you a quote for a project, I also estimate the delivery time. In general, the sooner you contact me to reserve a spot in my schedule, the faster my turnaround time will be.

Q: I need a freelance editor for a long-term contract. Do you edit every day (do you work full time) or is this a side gig for you? I need a reliable editor with quick turnaround time.

A: I’ve been a full-time editor and proofreader since I started my own business, in 2012. My office hours are Monday to Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m. (Central European Time). I take few days off during the year, and generally plan my holidays several months in advance.

Q: Can you work on my paper this weekend? If yes, do I need to pay double?

A: It depends. I can sometimes work weekends, and may charge an extra fee on top of my regular rates, though not double.

Q: Can you start working right away? My document is urgent.

A: Generally no. Most of my clients book editing time weeks in advance, but I sometimes have last-minute cancellations, or finish a project earlier, and can accept last-minute projects. Please ask about my availability.

EDITING AND PROOFREADING SERVICES

Q: Why do you need “two editing passes” and how does it work?

A: With very few exceptions, one editing pass is not enough to catch all errors. I’ll complete the first editing pass, answer your questions, and send you the file with changes tracked and comments. You review my work, accept or reject my suggested changes, provide feedback, and return the document to me. I answer your questions and do a second editing pass (much quicker than the first) to ensure no error slipped through. You then review my work and let me know if you have questions.

Q: Do you edit American English or British English?

A: Both. Though I studied in the UK and this website uses British English, I edit both American and British English. Actually, most of my clients are from the United States.

Q: How fast can you edit 5000 words? What’s your editing speed?

A: My editing pace will depend on the quality of the manuscript, as this will determine the level of editorial intervention needed. My usual editing pace is 1200–2000 words per hour for basic editing and 500–1200 words per hour for heavy editing. So, editing a 5000-word document usually takes me 2.5–4 hours if the document needs light editing, or 4–10 hours if it needs heavy editing. The delivery time for a 5000-word document is typically 2–3 days, but it can be as quick as 1 day and as slow as 4 days, depending on how many hours a day I have available for your project. If you book editing time at least two weeks in advance, I may even be able to offer same-day delivery.

Q: Can I hire you to edit my paper if it’s not finished yet?

A: Yes. I often work with authors who need help completing the revision of a paper. In these cases, heavy editing is usually needed, since parts of the document may need rewriting, or the content may need to be reorganised to improve flow or logic. As heavy editing takes more time—and costs more—than light editing, if you have a small budget for editing, please send me the document after you’ve revised it thoroughly.

Q: How do you decide if a document needs light/heavy editing or proofreading?

A: A document that was revised and edited thoroughly (by its authors or by an editor) will most likely only need proofreading. But if the document hasn’t been professionally edited, it will most likely need light or heavy editing, depending on many things: how thoroughly it was revised, how many authors worked on it, how experienced the writers are, and so on. I’ll use my expertise to determine if the document needs light or heavy editing, or just proofreading.

Q: Do other editors work for you? I’d like to know who will actually edit my book.

A: I don’t subcontract any part of my work, so when you hire me, I’ll be the only editor who will view and work on your document. I take great pride in the quality of my language editing services and to guarantee that all my clients receive the same high-quality results, I never subcontract.

Q: You say your aim is concision. Does that mean you always rewrite long sentences? I feel my paper would sound “dumb” if all sentences were short.

A: No. If a sentence is clear, sentence length is not a problem. Actually, mixing short and long sentences creates good rhythm and keeps the reader engaged. When I edit a document, my aim is concision, but that doesn’t mean I’ll edit all long sentences. I’ll suggest ways to avoid wordiness—unnecessary language that confuses the reader.

Q: I was told my report’s references “need fixing” to follow APA Style. What would that entail and about how many hours do you think it would take?

A: Fixing the references would entail citing each work in text and then compiling a list of references formatted consistently per APA Style. The time it would take to cross-check your references and create a reference list formatted consistently depends on the number of references. We can negotiate a fixed price for fixing references if you prefer.

Q: Am I required to name you as the editor on my book (I’ll self-publish it)? My wife is the author and she’d like me to be her “editor”.

A: No. You’re not required to include my name as the editor of your book. However, if you’d like to acknowledge the help you receive from editors, proofreaders, researchers, etc., you can use the acknowledgment section of your book.

Q: I want a free sample. Attached are the first two chapters of my book. Can I have the sample ready tomorrow?

A: I only provide free samples if I’m available to work on your project. Please first ask about my availability and send me the entire document that needs editing so that I can evaluate the work to be done. Then, if I accept the project, we’ll negotiate the price and turnaround time for editing, and I’ll offer you a free sample.

Q: How much full-time editing experience do you actually have? Freelancers don’t work 8 hours a day.

A: I’ve been a full-time independent editor and proofreader since 2012, but before that, I worked as a research scientist for seven years, and writing and editing were part of my job. In general, I work 5 hours a day on paid projects, and edit at least 5000 words daily. I also volunteer for Distributed Proofreaders (Project Gutenberg) in my spare time.

Q: Will you change the text or just suggest improvements using comments?

A: When I edit the text, I won’t simply make suggestions, but I will actually correct the errors. If, however, I come across style issues (the text is correct, but the writing style can be improved), I’ll suggest alternatives and you’ll decide which version you prefer. I always respect the author’s writing style and won’t impose my preferences.

Q: What does reference cross-checking mean?

A: Reference cross-checking means checking that all the works you cited in text appear in your reference list and vice versa.

Q: I have a PDF, but I don’t want you to change the text. Can you make comments instead?

A: Yes. I use Adobe Reader to mark-up PDFs, so you’ll read my comments and make changes to the text in the word processor you use.

Q: Why do you need the whole book to choose my free sample?

A: I need to see the whole manuscript to be able to choose a representative sample because some chapters will be better written than others.

Q: I don’t want to be critiqued. Can’t you simply correct my paper without judging my English?

A: First, I won’t “judge” you or your paper. I’ll be on your side: your aim is to transmit information to the reader; my aim as an editor is to remove the obstacles between your message and the reader. However, if you don’t want me to explain the reason for my major editing choices, please let me know and I won’t make any comments.

Q: My paper needs editing, but it’s not in English. It’s in Portuguese. Can you find a translator for me? I’ll pay you directly for translating and editing.

A: No. I’m an English editor and proofreader, and I only accept English editing or proofreading projects. Unfortunately, I cannot help you find a translator or other language professional.

ACADEMIC WORK – STUDENTS

Q: I’m an undergrad. Can you edit my final year project?

A: No. I don’t edit or proofread undergraduate papers or theses, or any other kind of work that counts towards an undergraduate degree.

Q: Can you edit my PhD thesis?

A: Yes. If you are a doctoral candidate, I can edit your PhD dissertation or thesis. But before you contact me, please check that you’re allowed to hire a professional editor to review your academic work, to avoid problems when you submit your thesis. Some institutions (Grenoble Ecole de Management, for example) require their doctoral candidates to have their dissertations professionally copyedited, other universities encourage their PhD students (especially ESL students) to enlist the help of professional editors or proofreaders, but some institutions prohibit any kind of external help.

Q: I don’t want to tell my PhD advisor that I want to hire an editor. Can I avoid telling him?

A: If you’re a postgraduate student, I strongly encourage you to ask your supervisor if you’re allowed to hire an editor. Please see my answer to the previous question.

Q: I need you to format my dissertation (it’s in Microsoft Word). Is that included in the price of editing?

A: Formatting your Word document is not part of editing, but if you need this service and I’m available, we can negotiate a fee for this work.

QUALITY

Q: Will you edit my document again if I don’t like your work?

A: Yes! I provide high-quality editing and proofreading services; however, if you’re not happy with the results, I’ll edit your document again (for free) until you are satisfied (see Terms of Service – Quality). However, to ensure you know how I work, I can edit a sample (usually 500 words if you have a 10000-word document) for free. Also, you’ll have the chance to provide feedback during our project, and I’ll use your feedback to adapt my editing style until it meets your expectations.

Q: I’ve worked with an agency before and paid a fee per word, but I wasn’t happy with the results. Can I pay you an hourly fee to ensure you spend all the time it takes to make my manuscript perfect?

A: Yes. We’ll decide if an hourly or fixed-price contract is better for your particular project. Regardless, you’ll receive high-quality editing/proofreading services. The health of my one-person business depends on the quality of my services. I always quote a fair price per word so I never have to rush to complete any project to inflate my profit.

Q: What if I like the editing sample but later discover your work is not what I’m looking for?

A: To avoid that, you can hire me to complete just a small portion of the project. If you’re not happy with the result or think I’m not a good fit for your project, we will end the contract.

Q: My manuscript was rejected by a peer-review journal but I am allowed to resubmit. If you edit it, do you guarantee that it will be accepted without other revisions?

A: No. I cannot guarantee that your article will be accepted for publication, because the journal editor will decide whether to accept your article or not based on many other factors apart from language. But I can guarantee that once I’ve edited your article, it won’t be rejected due to poor language quality.

Q: I never needed a freelance editor before. Do you (and freelance editors in general) offer better value than agencies?

A: I can’t give you a definitive answer, because I haven’t assessed the quality of services offered by other agencies or editors out there. However, when you hire an editing agency, you may actually end up working with a freelance editor anyway. While some editing agencies have in-house editors, many other agencies collaborate with freelance editors, so the fee you pay an agency will be split between the agency and the freelance editor. In contrast, when you hire a freelance editor, the entire fee you pay will be for editing services. You’ll need to decide on your own whether an agency or a freelance editor is better for your particular project. If you’re seeking cheap editing services, I’m probably not the right fit. But if you’re looking for a professional and experienced editor who loves the craft of editing and is committed to making your document the best it can be, please get in touch.

COMMUNICATION

Q: Do you provide phone or Skype consultations?

A: I typically offer follow-up consultations via email, because my clients are located all over the world (in different time zones), and this communication method usually works best for everyone. However, in exceptional cases (for example, if your editing project lasts for more than a month), we can arrange Skype meetings if necessary. Please note that while email consultations are free of charge, voice/Skype consultations are billable. If by “consultation” you mean academic writing coaching (via Skype or phone), I discontinued this service in 2016 and won’t be offering it again soon.

Q: Can I text you via WhatsApp or SMS if I have questions?

A: No. I’ll be available to answer your questions via email. My typical email response time is less than 24 hours (12 hours usually), which is perfectly suitable for most projects.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Q: I’m a start-up owner and my lawyer insists that I need an NDA from you. Will you sign one?

A: Yes. However, even if you don’t ask me to sign a non-disclosure agreement, the information in the documents you share with me will remain confidential.

Q: I don’t want my company to know that I hired you to edit this report. Can you keep this confidential?

A: Yes. It’s my policy to keep the names and documents of my clients confidential. However, I strongly encourage you to ask for permission to hire a professional editor before you send me the report.

Q: If you own a legal business, how come there’s no address on your website?

I have a legal business (you can check my VAT registration number, IT 04535070264, here), but I operate it from home. I have no business address listed on my website because my home office is not open to the public. I receive all orders for my services online, and I deliver all documents (revised texts, invoices, and other communications) electronically.

OTHER

Q: I’d like to become a professional proofreader. Can you recommend an online proofreading course?

A: Please check my detailed answer on Quora.

Q: I’m writing my dissertation and English is not my first language. Can you recommend a good book about academic writing or editing?

A: Please check my blog post called Which are the best books for improving academic writing skills?

CLIENTS

Q: What kind of clients do you work with?

A: I usually work with PhD students, assistant professors, business owners, professionals, self-publishing authors, and non-governmental organizations. Many of my clients are native English speakers, but I also work with authors for whom English is a second language (ESL authors).

Q: Can you provide links to your work, show me editing samples, or give me a list of your clients for referrals?

A: I can provide links to the articles I’ve written, but not to the work I’ve edited. It’s my policy to maintain the confidentiality of all my clients’ documents. If you’d like to see a sample of my work, I can edit a sample of your document for free (see How I work). If you’re looking for referrals, please check the Testimonials page or the recommendations on my LinkedIn profile. Please note that many of my clients prefer to remain anonymous, so they chose to leave no reviews or recommendations.

Q: Do you accept new clients?

A: Yes. I work for several of my loyal clients regularly, but I’m happy to accept new clients. Please contact me as early as possible so that I can set aside time for your project when you need my help.

What service do you need?

English editing services English proofreading services